Our new and improved dining room

Our new and improved dining room

With all of the mess work that’s been happening in our kitchen and bathrooms over the last month and a half, I haven’t had a chance to talk much about all of the work that we’ve also done in the dining room. The walls have gone from bright red to a pale blue, and it could not be a more drastic — and welcome — transition. We love it.

First let’s look at some pictures of what the dining room looked like before.

(The obligatory cat photo.)

The paint is Sherwin Williams “Real Red” (SW 6868), which is a beautiful shade of red — not too blue, not too orange. We jokingly called this room the opium den.

When we bought this house three years ago, we immediately decided that we wanted to paint every room a really bright, saturated color — red, pink, teal, yellow. We were so excited about the opportunity to go a little crazy and really embrace our personalities and the fact that, for the first time, no one could tell us what we could or could not do! We figured in a house with so many small rooms with dark trim and not a ton of natural light, bright colors made a lot of sense.

But as we’ve been living with these bright colors, more and more we’ve been finding ourselves drawn to chalky whites and cool pale blues. The thing about bright colors is that they aren’t relaxing. And at this point, we just want our house to feel calm and quiet. And we also have learned that the best way to open up our small, dark rooms is with light colors. You live and learn, right?

We have gone the complete opposite direction of where we started. And, hey, it happens. You’re allowed to change your mind. That’s the best part about owning your own home! I think everyone should paint a room bright red at least once in their life, just to get it all out of their system. I really believe it’s an essential part of life, and I have no regrets (two coats of primer to cover it up wasn’t super fun, but whatever).

Picking a new color for the dining room was tough. We knew we wanted it to be almost white, but blue, with a hint of green, but not too much, and no grey. We picked Sherwin-Williams Blue Horizon (SW 6497) and it is PERFECT. It may literally be the perfect color. In different lights it goes from pale blue to minty green, but always very light and inconspicuous. It looks great with our woodwork, stained glass window, and the ceramic tiles in the fireplace. It’s so much more open, airy and inviting than the red ever was, and this room feels so much more like who we are now.

Unfortunately my camera did a terrible job of picking up the color accurately and it looks really dull and muddy in these photos, which it isn’t at all in real life. There’s just no natural light in Cleveland this time of year. Maybe let’s retake these photo in, oh, June, when the sun comes back.

You’ll see we also rearranged the furniture a bit. The big bookcase that was next to the fireplace is now on the opposite wall. There’s a few more things I want to do in here, like adding art to the walls and replacing the window blinds.

Last Friday I shared a sneak peek of our new dining room table with you, so the pictures above are from a couple of weeks ago. Our old table and the couch that was in there both got donated. Our old table was ok but not our style, even after recovering the chair seats in really cute fabric, and it only sat four. I still need to take some proper photos of the new table, which I’ll do once the new rug gets delivered and everything is rearranged properly, but here’s another peek at the new table and the chairs that arrived yesterday.

Ugh, I just love this so much!!! The table we commissioned from Play-haus Design in Ohio City. Joe creates amazing work from metal and reclaimed wood, and his studio is only a couple of blocks away from our house. We saw a table like this at the Cleveland Flea a few months ago and fell in love with the idea of a custom table made just for us, in our neighborhood, for less than the price of a new dining room table of the same size at a big retail store. This table easily seats 8+ (we’re going to build benches for the other side). And also? The piece de resistance: there’s a trough in the middle that can be filled with ice for parties! So much fun! So, like I said, more photos soon, I promise!!!

They always say there’s no better and cheap way to update a room than a can of paint, and that’s so true. This room went from dark opium den to cool hang out room with just a can of primer, a can of paint, and a few hours of effort (and then a new table, but who’s counting). It feels like a whole new house … and it makes me want to repaint everything!!

P.S. Check out what this room looked like three years ago. Holy moly. We have come a looooong way. Yeesh.

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